E'town planning and ZBA positions rearranged

ELIZABETHTOWN After some shifting of positions, the town of Elizabethtown finally has a working zoning board of appeals. During the regular town board meeting Feb. 21, town officials filled the open ZBA and planning board seats. The town was previously in violation of state law by having town board members listed as members of the ZBA. After a 10-minute executive session, town board members announced appointments to both boards. Appointments included Jerry Alwell as planning/zoning board chairman, and members Frank Agnew, Evelyn Hatch, Elana Bornstein and Bruce Pushee. Barbara Kreiger and Elizabeth Lawrence were named as alternates. Lee Norton was named chairman of the zoning board of appeals, while George Onni, Bill Hobshon, Claude Turner and Ron Testa were appointed as members. Magen Murphy and Margaret Bartley were listed as alternates. To fill the positions, the town board shifted three of its planning board members Norton, Onni and Hobshon to the ZBA, creating vacancies on the planning board. Merrihew called the list tentative, adding members might be able to switch boards if they desired. The zoning board of appeals and planning board planned a joint meeting on Feb. 26 for an orientation. The town board also passed a resolution extending its moratorium on outdoor wood furnaces. The moratorium was originally instated in March 2007. I believe an extension of six months will give the new zoning board time to review the template they have to look at other municipalities to have a law, said Merrihew. Merrihew said the town wasnt planning on prohibiting the outdoor furnaces, but creating regulations. We will have a controlled, regulated use of those within the hamlet area, said Merrihew. Merrihew said the town had received two permit requests for outdoor wood furnaces which had been denied under the moratorium. During the public comment portion of the meeting, Bartley asked about plans for the proposed Family Dollar store. The business has announced its intent to purchase the D&B Restaurant on Main Street and locate there. She wondered if the zoning board would consider the architectural appearance of the business. Merrihew pointed out the town could only enforce existing regulations. So far, he said, the Family Dollar preliminary site plans and permitting applications met town codes. The application would be forwarded on to the planning board for approval after work with the code enforcement officer was finished. Testa said it was most unfortunate that the town had no architectural plans. Merrihew said having an active planning board and ZBA was a necessary development to create a town plan.

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